School board hears reports, start bond planning
May 2, 2019
The Wahkiakum School District Board of Directors met on April 23 to hear updates on the commercial kitchen/fish processing center, talk about a coming bond measure, and more.
Allen Bennett shared the design for the commercial kitchen/fish processing center planned at the high school, which is being done in partnership with the Wahkiakum WSU Extension office, noting that he was still waiting to hear if it was designed for “maximum efficiency” from a professor at WSU who was involved in the project.
“I think we’re still on track for the summer,” Superintendent Brent Freeman said. “We want it to be part of the new school experience.”
Freeman asked the board to approve construction of the center, but School Board Director Paula Culbertson was reticent to do so without something in writing and the matter was tabled until Freeman could provide documentation for the project.
Don Cox, who teaches at the high school, gave a presentation on the German Club’s trip to Germany during spring break.
“Everything they experience in class is theory, and when they get over to Germany it becomes reality,” Cox said. “What I try to do with these trips, and in the classroom as well, is to help students become aware that our world that we are sitting on here in Cathlamet is nothing but a speck on a clover. When they get out and see the world they see that.”
Culbertson shared a policy that she had drawn up for board ethics. It says that all business will be conducted in open public meetings, except for business which must occur in executive sessions; that board members will not discuss business conducted in executive session with the public or the press; that the board will adhere to a policy regarding conflict of interest in regard to awarding contracts for employment or providing service or supplies to the district; and more.
“It is not a policy that WSSDA has put out, this is our own,” Culbertson said.
The board approved the policy.
The food service program was audited last month, according to Freeman.
“We passed with flying colors,” he said. “Krista (Mace) has done a fantastic job. They had one recommendation that we review our wellness policy.”
Mace is the director of the food service program at the school.
Director Robin Westphall asked the board to officially designate April as Autism Awareness Month at the district.
“Autism affects 1 in 59 young people,”It’s a spectrum disorder so there is a range of behaviors and different abilities and to appreciate that we are to honor and celebrate differences as well as how we are the same, I thought it would be good to do. Maybe have activities every year in addition to the walk that would allow students to be aware of what it is.”
The board agreed.
Before the school board meeting, the board heard from someone who specializes in bonds. The board has begun planning for a bond measure which they hope to put on the ballot next February.
The board accepted resignations from high school math teacher Eli McElroy and Cathy Murphy, an alternative learning experience instructor for the district.